On October 9th, 2013 we decided to make a radical life change; we quit our jobs, sold everything, and bought a one-way ticket to Europe. Here's how it happened!
On October 9th, 2013 we were having cocktails at the Cavalier in San Francisco and between a Scotch Egg and a Old Fashion cocktail, my husband said “let’s take a sabbatical.” It was so random and unexpected, I though he just liked the word sabbatical. I rolled my eyes, said okay and moved on to my chicken dinner. Several cocktails later, it was decided, we would take the next 6 months off and travel around the world.
Originally we decided to start our trip in 2015. That gave us a year to settle our jobs (I was Dir. of Marketing for a group of boutique hotels in the city, and Chris was a savvy techie, making waves at various startups) handle our business, and get our affairs in order… but every day we would wake up wanting it to be now.
I think the plan of staring in 2015 lasted a week and before you knew it, we decided to start March 1, 2014. We would stay up all night planning our trip and eventually, our 6 month sabbatical turned into a year+ adventure that started in Europe.
I was never good at holding news in, so we told our families around Thanksgiving, and our work a few days later. Walking into my office knowing I would be leaving soon was tough. I had a job I loved, co-workers I trusted and a boss who I admired. It was easier for Chris to handle the changes, as most of his work is done through the internet and he is such an easy going guy, he had it all figured out. I was more of the worried one, who would come up with countless “what ifs” and would constantly catch myself getting mopey and teary eyed staring at our dog, dreading the day we would have to say goodbye.
What were we thinking? Leaving a great life and home in San Francisco all to travel around with a few backpacks. We are both in our early thirties, and aren’t like those recent collage grads who can travel unknowingly and stay in a hostel or the sand on a beach. We’re not backpackers. We needed a plan, we needed to know we would be comfortable.
The support from our family, friends and colleagues is what helped us (mostly me) get used to the fact that we would be digital vagabonds, moving around from place to place, experiencing the world first hand. Our life was about to change forever. Shit.
Leaving Our Home in San Francisco
Thanksgiving 2013 through March 1st, 2014 was a total blur filled with awkward Craigslist negotiations, trying to rent our apartment, me having minor nervous breakdowns (ha I remember sitting in the middle of my kitchen crying because I wouldn’t have “my kitchen” anymore), selling almost everything we owned (except for the 16 storage boxes), and getting ready to say goodbye to our really awesome, handsome dog - Karloff. But we did it, we got in our car, locked up our place and left.
lll never forget leaving our apartment in San FranciscoWe were terribly hungover from our going away party the night before, our dog was frazzled and knew something was up, I had a black eye from a suitcase that fell on me and we now had to drive 8 hours to San Diego to say goodbye to my family, drop off the dog and catch our flight to Italy. My heart was heavy, my eyes were wet and I had an ache in my stomach. This was going to be a totally awesome adventure, how could it not....right?
As I write this, I am sitting in our apartment in Paris looking out the window, still baffled how we got here and how our home is changing monthly sometimes weekly. For the past 10 months we have been to 12 different countries and over 40 cities. We are working on a schedule for 2015 and can’t wait to see where we go.
We’ve made a lot of sacrifices to do this and at the end of the day we couldn’t be happier about our decision to leave our busy San Franciso lives for a much better work/life balance. Fortunately we are both able to work remotely, (we just need wifi) and we are able to spend the majority of our days wandering around UNISECO sites, immersing ourselves in local culture and eating really really really good food.
Why Did We Do This?
We did it because we want to see life in a new way. We want to see how other people live, eat and drink. We want a sense of adventure and we want to explore the world. We want a better work/life balance and frankly, because we could. We have awesome family and friends who have been very supportive, parents who are taking care of Karloff and clients that love the idea of “skype meetings.”